The e-commerce giant has dubbed Sept. 17 its Career Day. On that day, Amazon will seek to find candidates for full- and part-time roles through six informational and networking events hosted in Arlington, Va.; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Nashville, Tenn.; and on its home turf in Seattle.
The open positions, which the retailer hopes to fill by early 2020, span from advertising to tech at its headquarters, data centers, retail stores and customer fulfillment networks in the United States. All candidates are offered access to on-the-job training as part of Amazon’s $700 million commitment to help workers navigate into more highly skilled positions or even pursue professions outside of the company.
In a statement, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos noted that Amazon has created more than 300,000 new jobs in the country over the span of a decade. “These are jobs with highly competitive compensation and full benefits from Day One,” he said, “as well as training opportunities to gain new skills in high-demand fields, such as robotics and machine learning.”
As retailers struggle to attract and retain talent amid a tightening labor market, Amazon has upped the competition with last October’s announcement of a minimum-wage hike to $15. The increase, which took effect in November 2018, affected more than 250,000 full-time, part-time and temporary employees, including those hired by agencies as well as more than 100,000 who work seasonal schedules.
And with plans to improve opportunities for a third of its U.S. workforce (or about 100,000 employees) by 2025, Amazon has launched what is widely considered to be one of the largest corporate retraining programs in the industry’s history. The move comes at a time when new technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics have increasingly disrupted the American labor economy; Amazon reportedly plans to greatly expand use of both in its facilities and offices.
According to its annual report, Amazon currently employs roughly 650,000 workers. Today’s job fairs announcement underscores the heavy competition to fill empty positions ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season, with the unemployment rate still hovering near its 50-year low of 3.7%.
According to a recent survey by Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 70% of employers reported difficulty finding qualified candidates for job openings, with companies now offering flexible schedules and time-off benefits in an effort to attract talent.
“Employers are having trouble finding workers with the skills needed to perform their duties. If this continues, it could hurt the bottom line and limit expansion,” VP Andrew Challenger said. “As employees — especially millennials and Generation Z workers — demand more work-life balance, employers will find they must respond with these offerings.”
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